Establishment and Role of Assessment Standards South Africa (ASSA)

An urgent need for a test certification process had arisen given the revised HPCSA mandate. A task force was convened to address this need, that is, to consider the development of assessment standards in South Africa and to provide a platform for public reviews of tests, and the certification of tests. The task force comprised representatives from South African professional societies, namely, the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOPSA) and its interest group People Assessments in Industry (PAI); the South African Association of Test Publishers (ATP); and the International Test Commission (ITC).

One of the recommendations of the task force was the formation of an independent, non-regulatory structure for developing assessment standards and certifying tests against these. This structure was constituted as the Assessment Standards South Africa (ASSA), a non-government and non-profit organisation (NPO).  ASSA aims to assist in implementing a robust, best practice and technology-enabled process that could be used to review people assessment instruments and tests. Further, based on the experience in other countries the voluntary submission of assessment instruments for objective evaluation and reviews will raise the general standard and awareness of using quality tests.

It is envisaged that this body will look at the broad spectrum of instruments that are used in South Africa and will not be limited to psychological tests only. In this way it will set the standards for the new generation of assessments.

ASSA Activities

Assessment Standards South Africa:

  • Would provide a minimum standards focus in South Africa for all activities in relation tests and testing.
  • Maintain a website and online platform to provide information for best practice, results of test reviews and access to information about tests and testing
  • Manage and disseminate information on standards relating to tests and testing. This includes information on qualifications in test use, tests reviews, test registration and the publishing and dissemination of advisory statements, in addition to guidelines and other literature on standards for the construction, use and availability of tests.

The activities of The Assessment Standards South Africa presented here should be considered as applying to all such procedures, whether or not they are labelled as ‘psychological tests’ or other similar assessments and whether or not they are adequately supported by accessible technical evidence


Set up as a non-profit organisation with a board of Directors comprising relevant stakeholders from:

  • The HPCSA (Observer status)
  • Department of Labour (Status to be determined)
  • PsySSA
  • SIOPSA and PAI
  • The ATP
  • The ITC (Observer status)